Physical Health, Wellness / Self-Care

Your Gut Health is affected by how much alcohol you consume

It’s really not great for your gut.

words by: Natasha Marsh
May 5, 2022

We all know alcohol isn’t the healthiest drink, no matter which beverage claims its healthier than the next. Whether you take yours in a cocktail, double shot, or wine, alcohol can cause inflammation in your body. To put it simply, it can give your bathroom breaks a hard time. Let’s get into why.


Alcohol is pro-inflammatory. When it comes to your gut, that’s a problem, especially over time. If you drink regularly, and heavily, your body is at risk for inflammatory bowl disease, liver disease, and gastrointestinal cancers. Alcohol can even change the makeup of your gut, messing up its balance and changing the strength of it. All of this leads to not being able to stomach certain foods, an inflamed body, and maybe even a gut that leaks.


So if you’ve noticed that recently, your post-drinking bathroom visits have been less than favorable, it’s because a night of booze speeds the movement of your gastro tract. Basically, your body didn’t have time to absorb the liquid of the fluids you drank—so now, you’re likely bloated and suffering from gas and constipation. Additionally, if your abs hurt, you feel sick, and don’t have an appetite, you’re seeing early signs of intestinal bacteria growth or gastritis. It’s also important to note that heavy drinking can lead to heavy damage of the intestines, in turn, leading to malnutrition.


It doesn’t really matter which kind of alcohol you drink, either. While the percentages on the packaging differ, alcohol is alcohol. So, while red wine can raise the good bacteria and slow down the bad, it shouldn’t be your band-aid. And it usually contains high amounts of sugar, which affects digestion. Additionally, if you’re watching your gluten intake, watch what beer you’re drinking. And of course, don’t drink on an empty stomach, and make sure you’re consuming water in between drinks. Dehydration leads to digestion problems.


For functional alternatives to digestion issues, focus on eating fiber and food with probiotics. Kombucha is my favorite, but you can also go for sauerkraut, kimchi, or yogurt before a night out. When we drink, all we want is an order of wings or something dipped in grease. And they taste great, but your gut certainly won’t thank you in the morning.


This post isn’t meant to scare you from drinking. However, be mindful of what you’re putting in your body—especially if you’re having gut problems. If your stomach is always hurting, or you’re constantly constipated, drink in moderation as much as you can to reduce the risk of health problems.


In related news, did you know that gut health can affect your skin?